Mothers of today are often harsh critics – of ourselves. Whether we work full-time or stay at home full-time or commit to any of the spectrum of career/ at home options in between, our choices are too often accompanied by a dose of guilt and the need to justify our actions.
Too often mothers working full-time feel the need to explain their decision, as if by returning to work they don’t love their children enough. Mothers who stay at home with the kids find it difficult to describe their “career” and feel urged to validate their intelligence and explain why they are not “working”. Mothers who return to a job part-time often worry whether they are getting the balance right.
Why is the modern mother so often wracked by guilt? On one hand, we’re human and susceptible to some guilt or doubt or frustration over the trade-offs we make. What frustrates me, however, is when society makes mothers feel guilty about the career choices we make. We make them for a reason. It may be for our career. It may be for our happiness. It may be for money. It may be for our peace of mind. It may be for any or all of the above and it will be different for each of us.
The important issue, as I see it, is healthy debate with ourselves about the choices that we make to ensure they are the right ones. The ones that make us tick. The ones that empower us to unleash untapped potential rather than feel trapped, as Holly at It’s a Mummy’s Life recently blogged about.
When I see a mother pursuing her chosen “vocation” with conviction and happiness, I’m inspired. When I see a mother who has thrown off the shackles of pre-conception in society for a career path that she wants/needs to do, I say hurrah.
As long as we’re putting some good into the world, why does it matter whether we wear a mama or a professional hat by day? We’re all mothers and love our kids at the end of the day. And when our children look to us as role models, they are sure to be more inspired by women who pursue decisions with confidence rather than express doubt about ourselves and the choices we make.